By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
Posted May 26, 2020
The Huron Township Department of Public safety was busy keeping the waterways in the community safe over Memorial Day weekend.
The department responded to multiple calls on May 24 and 25.
Every call involved people on or near waterways without life jackets on who had fallen in.
On May 24th at 9:06 a.m. Huron Township Emergency Dispatch Center received a call of a disoriented man on a local dock.
Reports state the male had fallen from his boat into the water and had been in the cold water for an extended period of time.
The man was transported by Huron Valley Ambulance to a local hospital. He was not wearing a personal flotation device.
A few hours later at 4:30 p.m. emergency dispatch received a call of two adults and one child in the river hanging onto logs.
Fire and police personnel responded and initiated a water rescue. Only the child was wearing a personal floatation device.
For the third time on the same day at 6:14 p.m., public safety responded to the Lower Huron Metropark’s south fishing area for three people in the river who lost their canoe.
The occupants were rescued from the river safely. Only one of the three people rescued were wearing personal flotation devices.
On May 25 at 12:23 p.m., dispatch received a call regarding four people who had fallen from their kayaks and were trapped in the Huron river near Huron River Drive and Kass Streets.
Huron Township Fire Personnel entered the river at the original location and rescued two people from the water.
One person was pinned beneath a log and was freed by fire personnel.
The two other people were rescued further down the river by police officers who entered the river to save them.
None of the four people rescued were wearing personal flotation devices.
“Our fire personnel climbed down the steep riverbank, got into the water quickly and without hesitation were able to free to young lady who had become trapped. Luckily experience and instinct took over and everyone was able to escape harm with only minor injuries,” said Everette Robbins, Huron Township director of public safety.
“Any one of these incidents could have had a much different outcome. It is interesting to note that out of the eleven people that were rescued this weekend, only two were wearing some type of personal flotation device. While the river may not look intimidating, water levels are up, and the current is flowing quickly. It is easy to lose control no matter how experienced you may be. It is important that if people choose to go out on the water, they must protect themselves. The need to be rescued could put a lot of people, including first responders, unnecessarily in harm’s way.”
Robbins said the dispatch center played a crucial role in helping locate the people who needed the help from emergency response.
“Dispatch received conflicting reports about the location of victims that had gone into the river. To make the situation even more complex, even after locating the first two victims, we had two more unaccounted for,” he said. “Dispatcher Amanda Iott did an incredible job working with on scene personnel, as well as multiple callers, to give first responders the location of the victims. Dispatch never gets the credit they truly deserve and when time was most critical, she really came through for everyone involved.”
We, in Huron Township, are blessed to have such dedicated dispatchers, officers, first responders, and firefighters. Their jobs are incredibly stressful and we are thankful for them. Our township has grown considerably since I sat in that dispatcher’s chair some years ago. You all have my heartfelt thanks and support.
This is a complete and utter lie .The incident with the two girls trapped on the log on may 25th happened a lot differently. I was on the river in my kayak with 4 other people in are party and we come around the bend to the two girls trapped on the log. There was 5 personal on the bank doing absolutely nothing . While one fire rescue straddled the log trying to get to them . They asked us to help them . We gave the girl a flotation device and then continued to help try to get her up the log. I then freed the girls leg that was wedged between the kayak and log . Then she crawled up to personal . Then I helped the last girl get to the point so she could crawl up the log . Emergency personal did not handle this situation correctly and needs better training for future incidents. One personal handed us a rope and told us to float down to them to give them the rope then paddle back up stream to give the emergency crew the other end . Doesn’t make much since to me when they should have gave one end of the rope to us then tie the girl of just in case see feel into the river . I was completely disappointed by the efforts that took place . Not to mention this article that is a complete lie. As we put are lives in danger to help the emergency personal and not a single one of them had showed appreciation for what we done. Need better on river training so in the future personal respond out of instinct not fear.
Embarrassing that the fire department lied on their reports stating they did things “without hesitation” when in reality they endangered more civilian lives with their cowardice response to the situation – thank you for you help and correcting this FALSE report by the “public safety” department. We the people believe you Joe!